Golf carts, summer heat and a job

Some students are turning to golf courses for summer employment.

At Rocky River Golf Club at Concord, about 10 students fill positions as golf staff and in the food and beverage department, said Ryan Brickley, PGA director of golf at the course.

Michael Meyers, a cart attendant at Rocky River Golf Club at Concord, said he had trouble finding jobs at traditional locations such as Lowes or Home Depot. He decided to apply at the golf club because he had prior experience at two other courses.

Brickley's advice to student job-seekers is to keep a good attitude. "Certainly it's easy to get discouraged in this economy, but most importantly, recognize that everyone in any position started out with a job that they may not have been thrilled with," he said.

At the golf course, Meyers, a 25-year-old UNC Charlotte senior from Hickory, works morning shift. He begins at 6:30 a.m., cleaning golf carts, bringing up the range balls, and greeting customers.

On a typical day, cart attendants also prepare the bag drop area and check receipts of players on the course, said Brickley.

Employees at the golf course are required to have drivers licenses to operate a golf cart. Beverage-cart attendants must meet age requirements of alcoholic beverage control laws, said Brickley.

For Tifani Lewis, a beverage cart attendant at the golf course and student at UNC Charlotte, deciding to work at a golf course was easy. She applied to several courses before she was hired in April at Rocky River, she said.

"I just really like to play golf, and I love being outside, it's just a great environment," said Lewis, 22, from Harrisburg.

Her role is to serve golfers and keep them hydrated, she said. Aside from working at the course, Lewis also golfs once or twice a week.

Like Lewis, Andy Kiker, a 19-year-old cart attendant, said he enjoys golfing four to five times a week at Rocky River.

A benefit employees receive is free golf, said Brickley.

"Attitude is the biggest thing, they are all happy to be here. I think it's a fun summer job for them, and they get to play free golf," said Brickley. "I try to encourage them to come back from year to year, we like to keep the same people in place so the customers see familiar faces."

While he enjoys the free golf, Kiker said, "The thing I have enjoyed most is the people I work around. I met a lot of good friends."

Kiker, from Midland, plans to attend Coastal Carolina University in the fall.

Kiker's advice for students looking for summer employment: "Any golf course is a great place to work. It's not particularly hard. It's not a whole lot of responsibility per se, working outside like I do, but it's a lot of fun, and you get to talk to people on a daily basis," he said.